The engineers are truly some of the best in the industry, and hence the cars they create are truly spectacular. The marketing folks are not into proper engineering, but more into visual frills; essentially icing to cover up the mediocre fluff underneath.
One example this gentleman (who will remain anonymous) gave me was regarding the C6 generation Corvette Z06 vs. the ZR1. He said, the C6 Z06 was the result of the engineers winning, to have their way on how a sports car should be. Hence it had a dedicated 7.0-litre V8 – which had close ties to their racing engines, rather than any street motor. The C6 ZR1 on the other hand used a supercharged version of the regular Corvette’s 6.2-litre V8, and had glitzy chrome wheels.
Now we come to the topic of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06, and especially its newest convertible version. So which department you think created this car, the engineers or the marketing folks?
While I like the new Corvette C7, in its base form, I have not been a fan of the C7 Z06. First of all, I think the aero-kit it wears looks a bit too cheesy, more like it was done by a crazy aftermarket tuner, rather than a proper manufacturer. I also dislike the fact that it uses the supercharged 6.2-litre V8, and not the 7.0-litre V8 as it should. Sure the supercharged motor produces more power (over 625 hp is all GM is saying for now. Real number will be revealed closer to the cars actual launch), but I’d rather have a good naturally-aspirated motor over forced induction any day.
Also, the 2015 C7 Z06 coupe comes with a lift-off roof, and (wait for it…) an automatic gearbox! That doesn’t sound very much like a road-legal race-car. Thankfully, a manual gearbox is still available.
Does the car look good? Sure, but it is hardly the restrained yet muscular rocket the C6 Z06 was.
So it seems, the 2015 C7 Z06 is the result of the marketing department getting their way. But the engineers have been kept busy too, they were behind the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. No wonder this car is much lighter than a regular Camaro, and its not only faster than its more powerful, supercharged ZL1 version around a track, but also faster than some proper European sports cars.
The marketing folks at GM win more wars and hence get more products done their way. However, I am glad the engineers still live on at GM, and every now and then, get to make some truly awesome machines for the real car guys.
I also have another idea. If you really want an eye-catching, supercharged convertible made by GM, why not buy a used Cadillac XLR-V instead!
I got to drive a 2007 XLR-V recently, and found it to be much better than I was expecting. It felt stiffer than the regular XLR model, made a great sound, and went like stink. A truly enjoyable car, and its rarity factor makes it all the more appealing. So, if I was looking to buy a fast, American convertible, I’d go for the XLR-V.